Güldenstädt, Johann Anton

Güldenstädt, Johann Anton, b 10 May 1745 in Riga, d 3 April 1781 in Saint Petersburg. German naturalist and physician. At the request of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences Güldenstädt visited Ukraine in 1773–4 and was the first to describe carefully the flora, fauna, and soils of the Ukrainian steppe, and to explain the origin of chernozem. He also discovered a number of previously unknown small animals (mole rats, a new species of suslik) and collected materials on the history of the Crimea. His writings contain detailed descriptions of the natural features, daily life, and economy of Ukraine. His most important scientific work is Reisen durch Russland und im Caucasischen Gebirge (2 vols, 1787, 1791).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1988).]

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